Hot Pans - Stockholm Steelband

Archive of news from the Steel Pan Community

This page contains a list of archived news items from The Pan Page. To read fresh news, go to the front page.

Panorama 2020 Results - Desperadoes Steel Orchestra Wins First Place

Panorama 2020 - Large Band Finals Results

[Published 23 February 2020]

What it takes to Build a Mystical Handpan

This video showing the manufacturing and tuning of a handpan/Hang is a bit off topic for the Pan Page, but is shows some interesting tools and techniques that can be of interest to a pan tuner wanting to develop the craft. It contains a bit of discussion of the acoustics of the notes of the handpan and even a sequence where they try to tune a frying pan!


The crafting and tuning is done by numen instruments in Barcelona.

[Published 23 November 2019, updated 5 April 2020]

Birdsong Steel Orchestra International Panorama Project 2020

Birdsong Steel Orchestra announces its International Panorama Project 2020. International Panists are invited to take advantage of a unique opportunity to experience performing at the National Panorama Competition with a 120 piece steelband under the musical direction of multiple Champion Panorama arranger and Grammy award winner Robert Greenidge.

[Published 3 November 2019]

Panorama 2020 - Changes to format and schedule

Trinidad and Tobago newssite NEWSDAY reports that Pan Trinbago has announced sweeping changes to the format of Panorama 2020. The new schedule will allow Pan Trinbago to spread out Panorama events and actually it is starting right now with single pan band category competition being held in November 2019.

When Steel Talks reports on the full Panorama 2020 Schedule here and Pan Trinbago has published the Calendar of Events for the Carnival/Panorama 2020 here [PDF].
The National Panorama Finals are scheduled to be held Saturday February 22, the weekend before Carnival Monday and Tuesday, February 24-25, 2020.

Information kindly supplied by Trinidad and Tobago NEWSDAY and When Steel Talks.

[Published 3 November 2019, updated 9 November 2019]

Book by Anthony Achong: Secrets of the Steelpan: Unlocking the Secrets of the Science, Technology, Tuning of the Steelpan

With ‘Secrets of the Steelpan – Unlocking the Secrets of the Science, Technology, Tuning and Operation of the Steelpan’ Dr. Anthony Achong is presenting a summary of his extensive studies on the steelpan.

This is how the publisher Xlibris US describes the book:
This book describes a truly remarkable musical instrument o the Steelpan (Pan) o a melodic percussion instrument that produces tones of immense beauty. This instrument is the National Instrument of the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. The concepts, the ideas, the theories, the physics and the mathematics contained in this book are the answers to the question the author asked himself as a little boy peering over the face of a ping pong steelpan, "how does it work?" Revealed, are the subtleties and secrets of the instrument's operation, its laws, its construction and details of its tuning. Contained herein is the information sought by pan musicians, pan makers, panists, pan researchers and pan lovers - nothing is left out. The rigor of the analytical methods of this book matches, in depth and intensity, the expert craftsmanship of the Master Pan Maker and Tuner. There is a unifying force within this book that combines the stick-note impacts to the panist's creativity in his production of musical tones. This book doesn't dodge the difficult questions; it ends with a chapter on the exotic non-musical features of the steelpan.

Read a review of the book by PANArt tuner Felix Rohner.

[Published 11 October 2019]

Oscar Pile - How Steelband Started

Oscar Pile Steelpan Pioneer and Steelband Historian talks about the origins of the steelpan. An excerpt from the film The Rhythm in Steel

[Published 3 October 2019]

The Rhythm in Steel

A full-length film (1h 15 mins) presenting the story of a retired doctor sailing in the West Indies, who discovers the origins of the steel pan. Contains some interesting information regarding the building of pans and their history.

[Published 3 October 2019]

The birth of the steel drum - presented by Kevin Martin at TEDxChesterRiver

Kevin Martin, musician and instructor, has a passion. For years, he has been studying, performing with, composing for, and building the only instrument created in the 20th century: the steel drum. Kevin's talk and performance gives us insight into the social history, the musical potential, and the future of this melodic, percussive instrument.

[Published 21 September 2019]

The E-Pan - electronic steelpan by NAPE

The E-Pan is invented and sold by NAPE – New Advanced Product Evolution Inc.

This is how NAPE presents the E-Pan:
The E-Pan name is the abbreviated short form chosen for the electronic steelpan. This novel idea was created using high-tech electronics to advance the invention of the traditional instrument.

Read more about the E-Pan at the NAPE website

[Published 20 September 2019]

Music from Oil Drums (1956)

The film presents Pete Seeger (who wrote a manual for playing steel drums) visiting steel drums makers and players in trinidad.

[8 December 2018]

Kim Loy Wong interviewed by Pete Seeger

In the early 1940s, Kim Loy Wong was a member of the first teenage steelband in Trinidad, East Side Kids. He later moved on to other steelbands before starting the HiLanders in the 1950s. In 1956, while with the HiLanders, he was approached by famous US folklore singer, Peter Seeger, who was interested in how the steelpan was made. [Information about Kim Loy Wong supplied by "Best of Trinidad".]

[7 December 2018]

Ellie Mannette - Father of the Modern Steel Drum

Smithsonian Folklife Festival has published a Youtube video where pan pioneer Ellie Mannette presents his involvement in the beginnings of pan.

Ellie Mannette, born in Trinidad in 1927, is considered "the father of the modern steel drum." Mannette worked for 75 years to develop and popularize the steel drum, creating seven of the ten instruments used in steel drum bands today.

Videography by Charles Weber, John Wetmore, Marinna Guzy, Michael Headley, Andrea Curran. Edited by Julia Narrow. Published on YouTube 19 Apr 2013

[5 December 2018]

MIC Institute of Technology launches a steelpan manufacturing programme

The MIC Institute of Technology (MIC-IT) has launched a customised steelpan manufacturing programme at its head office in Macoya. This customized programme is the result of a Memorandum of Agreement signed in July, between MIC-IT and the National Gas Company (NGC) to benefit sponsored steel band members.

Read more about it at the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday website and in the MIC press release.

[Published 3 November 2018, updated 26 December 2019]

PAN Magazine - Steelpan News & Culture

Pan Magazine was founded in May 2014 by Ted Goslin, based out of Long Beach, Calif. The site was established to help provide news and thoughts from the most knowledgeable people in the global steelpan community.

[17 March 2018]

Panorama Finals 2018 Results

PAN Magazine reports on the result of the Panorama Finals 2018

[17 March 2018]

'We Kinda Music' is 'Not For Panorama' - The (Paradoxical) Marginalization of Andy Narell

An (upcoming) article and lecture by Dr. Kayleen Justus, Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, Kennesaw State University, Georgia, USA - March 2016.

Read it at www.seetobago.org

Kindy supplied by Jeremy G de Barry

[9 April 2016]

New book: Carnival, Calypso and Steel Pan - A Bibliographic Guide to Popular Music of the English-speaking Caribbean and its Diaspora

African Diaspora Press has published a new book by by John Gray: Carnival, Calypso and Steel Pan - A Bibliographic Guide to Popular Music of the English-speaking Caribbean and its Diaspora.

DESCRIPTION:
A companion to the author’s earlier volume Jamaican Popular Music, this landmark new work helps fill a major gap in the reference literature. For the first time ever it offers students and researchers an in-depth guide to the large body of materials available on masquerade and popular music traditions of the English-speaking Caribbean. Comprised of some 3400 annotated entries it documents a literature, both popular and scholarly, that now spans more than 85 years and ranges across disciplines as diverse as social and cultural history, anthropology, ethnomusicology, literature and economics.

The book’s main focus is on three tightly intertwined topics—Carnival, calypso and steel pan—and how each has evolved, both inside of Trinidad, their most important hub, and abroad in the large West Indian enclaves of New York, London and Toronto.

Citations span from 1852 to 2012, with the bulk having been published between the 1930s and 2012.

[2 August 2015]

Trinidad & Tobago Panorama Winners 1963-2015

Jeremy de Barry has made an excellent and comprehensive listing of the Panorama Large Steelband winners years 1963 to 2015.

[2 August 2015]

Caprice Records presents a new album from Rudy Smith - What Pan did for me

Rudy Smith: What Pan did for me. Record image.

This is hot news for us people engaged in steelpan in the Nordic countries: A new historical album from our mentor, arranger and tuner Rudy Smith!

This is how Caprice Records presents the album in the press release:

Rudy "Twoleft" Smith is a legendary person in the world of steel pan and steelband. This album offers samples of his many musical faces: the pan man, the jazz musician, the arranger, the pan tuner, the tune smith...

Rudy's life covers most of the development of steel pan as a tuned musical instrument. The tuned steel pan was born in the mid-1940s. The first pans were made from biscuit tins and other metal containers and had only a few notes. These kind of steel pans were the first ones Rudy made and played as a very young boy. During the period 1945-55 the steel pan was gradually transformed into a set of instruments from treble to bass made from 55 gallon oil drums. This transformation involved an amazing and massive inventive development work involving experiments by many men in the yards of Trinidad. The orchestra made up of steel pans became known as steelband.

The original function of steelbands was to provide music for the masqueraders in the famous Trinidad carnival. The bands played the Trinidad calypso music. But very soon other kinds of music were played by the steelbands. The U.S. had both a naval base and an air base in Trinidad. The G.I. audience was a different one than the local audience. And they could pay. When the “Yankees” gradually left in the late 1950s the steelbands had to look for new markets. As a teenager Rudy started to travel with the band Merrymakers, taking steelband to Europe in the wake of the 1950s calypso craze.

Rudy describes Europe at the time and the working conditions from the perspective of the travelling "exotic" Caribbean musician. He meets jazz music in Europe and becomes a master jazz musician. After a decade on the road Rudy settles in Scandinavia. He plays jazz and fusion music with his own groups and in other constellations in clubs and festivals all over Europe, North America and the Caribbean. He becomes the hub of a growing steelband movement in Northern Europe as arranger, advisor, provider of instruments etc. He is also called back to Trinidad to become a top arranger for the pre-carnival steelband competition Panorama.

Rudy has played with most of the great pioneers and masters of steel pan as well as with jazz greats. As an arranger, steel pan maker and mentor he has been the foundation of steelband activities in Northern Europe. But first and foremost he is a great musician.

Read the review of the record at the PAN Magazine site: Album Review: “What Pan Did For Me” By Rudy “TwoLeft” Smith

[28 February 2015]

Swedish steelbands Hot Pans and Cool Pans merges to Stockholm Steelband

Stockholm's oldest steelband Hot Pans merges with its sister band Cool Pans to form Scandinavia's largest steelband Stockholm Steelband!

[2 November 2014]

How To Make Your Own Steel Drum by David Beery, Smarty Pans

A 60 minute step by step 'how to' VIDEO "How To Make Your Own Steel Drum" (#V1010). Hosted by David Beery, owner of Smarty Pans.

This unprecedented 60 minute 'how to' video shows the entire process of how to make a professional single tenor pan in 18 simple steps.

Includes information on finding a barrel, shaping, sinking, tuning, chroming and much more. Visit at: www.smartypansmusic.com

[20 July 2009]

Making a Steel Drum Steel Pan Tenor Pan - video by IsDePanInMe

Nickname IsDePanInMe has published a YouTube video showing the making of a tenor pan, where a young Ray Holman describes the set-up of the notes on the Tenor Pan.

[9 July 2009]

New Web Site on Steel Pans launched!

Steel pan educator Gaye from Jamaica has set up an informative web site on steel pans at www.steelpan-steeldrums-information.com

This is how she describes the site:
Got questions about the steel pan (steel drums)? Or are you just curious about this new and innovative instrument? Steelpan-steeldrums-information.com is your one-stop resource for tips and information on how to play the steel pans, its history, how they are made and much more!

[14 June 2009]

Steel Pan Drum Modern Manfacturing - Pan tuning film on YouTube

A modern way of making the Steel Drum/Pan that was invented in Trinidad & Tobago in the 1930's. Submitted by VibesTube

[15 September 2007]

Tune into Bach on Pan

Sune Borregaard has made som very nice solo recordings of Bach sonatas on his alto (double tenor) pan, tuned by Rudy Smith. You may listen to the recordings on Sune's blog and even subscribe to his news feed and podcast, so you get notified when he issues a new recording. Enjoy!

[12 May 2007]

Electric Steel Drums - now with sound samples and video clips

The Steel Drum Enters The 21st Century! Welcome to the birth of a new era in steel drums. Presenting a "proof of concept" electronic steel drum. Image having the sound and form factor of an acoustical steel drum, without the use of 55-gallon oil drums. See additional information and pictures at www.electricsteeldrums.com. Sound saples and video clips are presented at the page http://www.electricsteeldrums.com/additional.html

[3 December 2006]

The International Steelband Hall of Fame

This instrument, a 20th century musical wonder, which was created in Trinidad and Tobago in the 1940s and is claimed to be its national instrument does not have a hall of fame in the land of its birth. Therefore, Khalick J. Hewitt have decided to establish The International Steelband Hall of Fame on an internet site to recognize the many steelbands, tuners, panists, leaders, pioneers, arrangers, composers and contributors who have given their talents, skills, creativity, money and energies to the growth and development of the steelband movement.

Brought to you by the courtesy of Pan Jumbie at: http://www.pan-jumbie.com/tishof/

[20 May 2006]

Pan in Education - CD recordings with music scores

"Pan in Education" is a double CD, one with audio recordings of 13 different bands performing arrangements of Mark Loquan's music, the other is an interactive data CD with the digital music scores of the arrangements (combined and by individual pan) which can be accessed via Finale (2002 & higher), MIDI, or PDF. Brief bios are also given on each arranger and steelband. Caribbean & Latin rhythms are also included.

The project is intended to be used by secondary schools and tertiary level locally and/or internationally, and the arrangements have been classified and categorized by level of difficulty according to defined criteria (done by the University of the West Indies, Centre for Creative & Festival Arts). Read more and order at: http://www.ecaroh.com/pan/panineducation.htm

[12 July 2005]

Caribbean Water Music in Norway?

Eckard C. Schulz with twin pan This is Eckhard C. Schulz, ECS Steeldrums, pan tuner in Germany. He has manufactured this Steel Pan XXL - THE TWIN PAN - with a XXL body of tones.

It has a diameter of 1,15 meter, and consists of 25 kg metal! And there's a second one, it is a double set, and therefore he calls it the Twin-Pan.

Soon he will be heading for Trondheim/Norway with it. The Twin-Pan will be displayed on top of 4 meter pillars. It will be played by rhythmical water-jets of some special made nozzles.

The Twin-Pan, created in collaboration with Dr. Werner Homberg and the University of Dortmund was 4 weeks in the making. Alone to tune the lowest note Eckhard did spend 4 days, he fixed it 5 times because the metal teared.

No one can stop Ekki, he has more plans in his sleeves. Next dream is a jumbie pan with a diameter of 3 meters, supposed to go to Trinidad.

[4 April 2005]